UW’s Beck Publishes Rangeland Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Book

by Andy Schwab

Laramie, Wyo.—Jeff Beck, a professor in the University of Wyoming Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, is an editor and co-author of the new open-access book Rangeland Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.

The 30-chapter publication, compiled by Beck and fellow editors Lance McNew of Montana State University and David Dahlgren of Utah State University, presents a collection of leading research on contemporary rangeland wildlife management.

Authored by more than 100 experts, the book explores wildlife conservation and ecology in the working landscapes of western North America. Contributors include UW researchers Beck, Drew Bennett, Anna Chalfoun, Joe Holbrook, Jerod Merkle, Myrna Miller and Derek Scasta, as well as former Ph.D. students Jake Hennig and Ryan Wilbur.

The new publication examines anthropogenic influences on western rangelands, including livestock production and grazing, as well as species-specific content on sage-grouse, pronghorn, elk, feral equids and other wildlife. The authors conclude with a discussion of socioecological factors in rangeland management, including living with predators, economic considerations and conservation.

“All three of us [editors] are educators and we really want to help educate the public, to make people more aware, and offer better answers because there’s so many issues with rangeland wildlife species,” Beck explains.

These issues are particularly relevant in Wyoming. According to Beck, approximately 85 percent of the state’s land can be classified as rangeland.

While the book is designed with students and professionals in mind, the content is meant to be accessible by a more general audience as well. “If you’re a hunter, angler, hiker, or just enjoy wildlife viewing, and you have questions about these kinds of issues, this is a great resource for you,” says Beck.

Beck’s team chose to publish Rangeland Wildlife Ecology and Conservation online and open access, which means there is free and unlimited access to its content. Readers have the option to download individual chapters or the entire text.

“My hope is that people will use it,” Beck comments. “We wanted open access so it can be freely accessible to everyone.” The online version, published last month, has already received nearly 50,000 views.

To view the book online, visit https://bit.ly/rangeland-wildlife. For those interested in a print copy, softcover and hardcover versions are available for purchase on the publisher’s website and through major bookstores.

In addition to serving as editor of the publication, Beck is lead author of the chapter focused on sage-grouse and co-author of two other chapters. To learn more about his research and publications, contact him at jlbeck@uwyo.edu or visit https://bit.ly/beck-lab.


University of Wyoming – 2023

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